The Facts on Joseph Kony and the LRA

10 Mar

Joseph Kony Lord's Resistance Army

LRA leader Joseph Kony (in white shirt)


The insurgency of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) of Joseph Kony against the government of Uganda began in 1987 in the aftermath of the failed Holy Spirit Movement Rebellion of Alice Auma (also known as Alice Lakwena). After the Holy Spirit Movement lost a major battle against the Ugandan government at th ebattle of Jinja, Alice Auma fled to Kenya while Joseph Kony emerged as the leader of the remaining rebel forces. With Kony’s assumption of power came a shift in the rebels’ strategy and a new name: the Lord’s Resistance Army. Kony declared himself to be a prophet, emerging as a “Spirit Guide,” and inspired his rebel troops to fight the Ugandan government.

Joseph Kony

Joseph Kony, leader of the LRA, and target of the #Kony2012 campaign

In March, 2012, a YouTube video highlighting the crimes of Joseph Kony went viral, with users posting the #Kony2012 hashtag on twitter and other social media to draw attention to Kony’s crimes as the head of the LRA. The Kony 2012 video is a film and campaign by Invisible Children whose goal it is to make Joseph Kony famous, or rather, infamous, in order to raise internatioal support for his arrest and to set a precedent for international justice. Critics of Invisible Children and the Kony 2012 campaign point to several factual errors or ommissions in the video. The video states that Kony currently has an army of some 30,000 child warriors, and that is not true. After the Ugandan Army drove the LRA out of northern Uganda in 2006, Kony’s army has dwindled. Experts now believe that Joseph Kony has only a few hundred fighters still with him. Also, Kony and the LRA have not haunted northern Uganda since being driven out by the Ugandan Army in a 2006 military offensive. Invisible Children argues in favor of international military intervention in bringing Kony to justice. and is raising funds that go for direct support of the Ugandan military. While Kony’s forces have engaged in heinous war crimes for decades, it should be pointed out that the Ugandan military is also accused of criminal behavior, including rape and murder. More information and facts about Joseph Kony and the LRA are at http://www.


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